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Old 1st March 2010, 02:56   #1
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Default Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento

The book states it belonged to Royalty.

The first owner is a certain Rani's wife of a certain late Rai Bahadur from Allahbad.

Therefore, the car was originally UP registered.UPC-XXXX before finding its way to Andhra Pradesh and getting re assigned a local registration number viz; AIA_XXXX

After I laid my hands on the Special, the Fiat bug had bitten me....hard. So much so that i picked up two Millicentos (or Dukkars as we know them in the local slang) in quick succession, within months of each other. The first is a 57, a Bombay car, running and almost perfect in all its fittings. Very well kept except for the body and a little rust here and there. Then i got to know of this particular car through this very forum and Shyam and i cant thank this forum and Shyam enough. Shyam is better known as Stanher.

One look at the pics put up in a thread and one phone call to Shyam, then started the enquiries and negotiations. First the owner was not located and i was told the car may have its books missing, so i decided to pass, then the owner who had gone abroad returned after a span of more than two months, everything fell into place. It was confirmed that the books were there but he wanted his pound of flesh as within two months there were stories of similar cars going for almost triple the price we had earlier agreed to. It was simple, he wanted to re-negotiate the price. We decided to make an offer which was fair, and presto the deal was struck. Not wanting to fall in his price trap again we moved the car immediately from his custody after payment.

The car was picked up by Stanher who got some mechanical work done under his supervision. The car lay with him for a while till one day it was loaded and sent to me.

Ill let the pictures do the talking and as we go along the process and ill reveal the story.


After Stanher convinced me that this car was worth saving, he emailed me the pics asap.. Knowing him to be an eagle eyed person for Classic Fiats i trusted his judgement completely and im glad. Thanks Shyam, you are an extremely helpful and wonderful person.

Clean lines, though rust had set in but was not rotting. Grill, bumpers, lights all intact, especially the rear one piece lights which are weight their weight in gold now a days.

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With a few knobs missing and a cheap two in one inserted where the Millicento plate should be, the car was otherwise complete

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The car was whisked to Shyam's place where he made sure the precious rims were given their red oxide treatment and replacing the original wheels with another set from a newer lineage, the car rested in his house, getting little mechanical snags sorted out.

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Just love this round meter configuration


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The engine is complete, with the original air cleaner et all. Shyam also got it running

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It was then towed away to a local garage known to Shyam where it rested for a long while until it was bought to Bombay in a very interesting manner.

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A friend of mine go the car collected and informed that the car is loaded and sent to Bombay. After a span of a week or so, i got a call from the transporter that the car had arrived. When i went to receive the car , i was shocked at the way they had bought the car down to Bombay.

I have never seen a car being transported in this way in my life. It was actually loaded atop a filled cargo truck and was bought, just like that.

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Who in his right sense of mind would carry a car like this. To top it all, 80% of the money was paid to him in Advance.
Of course this type of carriage has its casualties and it did do considerable damage to the car. Also some things went missing from the boot


The precious parking lights were broken as was one headlight and the other one cracked. My heart was broken but the consolation was that the headlight was a local fit. That means i have to now look for a pair of headlights ($$$$) and a pair of parking lights. Thankfully the tail lamps were saved, i guess by the protective grille around them.

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....to be continued.......

Last edited by V-16 : 1st March 2010 at 03:15. Reason: Adding pics.
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Old 1st March 2010, 09:49   #2
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Dear Gogi - when do we get to see the car in its present restored state? I liked the colour choice. It looks quite period. .

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
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Old 1st March 2010, 10:02   #3
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Congrats Mr. Gogi.

Car looks so complete!!

Waiting for the restoration details..
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Old 1st March 2010, 10:35   #4
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Congratulations V16 for the precious acquisition. Great Shyam for the efforts on the car. I just posted a wish to have one yesterday in another thread hope to see one coming to my home. Felt the same pain when saw the pictures of lens broken good luck that the tail lamps are safe, V16 you could have removed them while transporting but anyways ok as you said its local fit. Wishing you all the best and good in restoring the beauty. I know I have one less chance of getting a good car in AP like yours however happy it landed to a very good hands.
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Old 1st March 2010, 11:14   #5
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The old Jeep pulling the Fiat makes me emotional. Always Jeep has maintained it Recuse n Defense Job well. Now just waiting for the resto to finish
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Old 1st March 2010, 11:28   #6
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Hi V16 / Shyam,

Great work of saving another Fiat from getting scrapped.

Just wanted to know, how much would a similar condition Milli cost? (On an average). I think, I have seen a milli lying here and would like to check if the owner is ready it sell it off. If the deal strikes, maybe even I will be able to save a FIAT and become a proud member of the FIAT family.
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Old 1st March 2010, 16:20   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by V-16 View Post
Therefore, the car was originally UP registered.UPC-XXXX before finding its way to Andhra Pradesh and getting re assigned a local registration number viz; AIA_XXXX

First the owner was not located and i was told the car may have its books missing, so i decided to pass, then the owner who had gone abroad returned after a span of more than two months, everything fell into place. It was confirmed that the books were there but he wanted his pound of flesh as within two months there were stories of similar cars going for almost triple the price we had earlier agreed to. It was simple, he wanted to re-negotiate the price. We decided to make an offer which was fair, and presto the deal was struck. Not wanting to fall in his price trap again we moved the car immediately from his custody after payment.

The car was whisked to Shyam's place where he made sure the precious rims were given their red oxide treatment and replacing the original wheels with another set from a newer lineage, the car rested in his house, getting little mechanical snags sorted out.

The engine is complete, with the original air cleaner et all. Shyam also got it running

A friend of mine go the car collected and informed that the car is loaded and sent to Bombay. After a span of a week or so, i got a call from the transporter that the car had arrived. When i went to receive the car , i was shocked at the way they had bought the car down to Bombay.

I have never seen a car being transported in this way in my life. It was actually loaded atop a filled cargo truck and was bought, just like that.


Who in his right sense of mind would carry a car like this. To top it all, 80% of the money was paid to him in Advance.
Of course this type of carriage has its casualties and it did do considerable damage to the car. Also some things went missing from the boot

The precious parking lights were broken as was one headlight and the other one cracked. My heart was broken but the consolation was that the headlight was a local fit. That means i have to now look for a pair of headlights ($$$$) and a pair of parking lights. Thankfully the tail lamps were saved, i guess by the protective grille around them.
Wow Gogi (sir)ji, glad to see the much-awaitd thread on good ol' "AIA" at long last!!
It was my pleasure to help you out on this, and I must thank you all the same, as but for your passion and perseverence, which alone made you pick up this car even without papers (yet, as of then) and at a rather high price from a scrapwala, it wouldnt have lived to see the light of the day today!

A few points I might add- we had actually got the car from a local scrapwala I know, exactly 2 years ago (in March 2008)
It all started with my mech. calling me up one day and telling me the guy informed him about a "centrelight" dukkar he had picked up and was bringing the next day.
On going there, it turned out that it was actually a millecento, and thats when the first pics. were taken.

So when I'd first posted the pics. here in the hope of saving the car, a couple of team bhpians, including gogi, were interested in buying the car. But the guy then informed us that the papers were missing, and gave us the address of the ex-owner, saying he might have them at home.
When we met the "owner", it turned out that the car belonged to his brother, who was in the US then, and was said to have the papers in his own house! He'd assured us that his bro. was coming back for good in 2 months' time and we would get the RC then. On this assurance, gogi was the only one who decided to brave buying the car from the scrapguy, following which it was initially housed in our society, in our bldg. parking lot itself.

I later faced problems from the society authorities for having parked too many (read 2!) cars in parking spaces other than ours, with rumours of me running a garage for old cars floating around! So had to relocate them to other places, the fiat being moved (as seen in gogi's pic.) to a garage at Secunderabad I get my work done.
During which time, I suggested to gogi on getting the car sorted out a little. So we first got the engine started up- attached is a video I took of the process!



Also got the doors set and locks etc. working plus some work on the brakes- the original drums (see pics.) were found to be in need of repair, so my mech. temporarily replaced them with TVS drums and different pipelines. The original were stored away in the boot of the car. I also smeared some red-oxide by brush on areas where the paint was gone and rust was setting in on the body.

The original rims, though having come with the car, were given to us separately, as the scrapguy claimed he'd promised the tyres to someone else, so had to take them off the rims for it. So he gave the car with a set of padmini rims, and the original rims sans tyres later, after I literally fought with him for them, as I suspected we had a chance of losing them to him!
They turned out to have quite a lot of rust on the inside, mainly caused by strips of rubber tube being stuck on! Hence the red-oxide coating.

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_0661.jpg

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_1773.jpg

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_1875.jpg

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_1878.jpg

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_1880.jpg

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_2149.jpg

Another Fiat - The Restoration of a 1956 Millicento-img_2356.jpg

Now to cut a long story short, the "2 months" wait for the ex-owner turned out to be more than 6 months until he returned home! And despite me (and even more my mech.) contacting him and following-up with him so many a time for the papers, the guy kept dodging us with some excuse or the other!
Meanwhile, it was proving difficult to hold the car at the garage this long, so once it was up and running, gogi arranged- through his other friend- for another mechanic from the "old city" to pick up the car and later send it over by transport. After much deliberation, I got a letter prepared on bond paper at the local court declaring from the scrapguy we bought the car from, that the car was bought (by Gogi) as scrap minus papers and was bought for parts only. He was actually shocked to see the paper we'd prepared in his name!!

I gave my word to Gogi that I'd send the papers as and when I got them.

Finally, a while after the car was sent, my mech. nailed the owner, who then revealed that he'd actually given the papers to an RTO agent to get the car transferred in his name, but before it materialised, he left for the US on a job offer!! So the papers "should" still be with the RTO guy!! The latter was also contacted, and he thankfully still had the documents, but indicated that he wanted his pound of flesh for having "kept safe" the papers for so long (I suspect the owner too had a hand in this, as I was told he was cribbing about his car being sold for even less than what we bought it for and that he got a loss blah blah blah!)
So finally after this too was settled, I got the papers in hand; the original RC book (BTW gogi, I also remember a Bhopal address mentioned after the allahabad one, so the car must've been there too for a while) with the original UPC regn. and the later (80s) AIA one, plus all the signed TO forms, all verified and posted to gogi.

I then got a call from Gogi around May last year, with the good news that the car had reached him! The only unsettling part here being that the original drums and also a set of select rims that were carefully stored inside the boot, were ALL found to be MISSING from inside the car, as gogi mentioned! as were the original brake/clutch pedals etc.!
I really wished then that I'd sent the parts separately rather than pack them in the car! Even now, I feel real bad about this! Good thing I decided to put the car's original rims on atleast!
Also sad that the RH Headlight was broken and so was the LH sidelight! I presume these got broken in the transporation?
The right sidelight I remember was broken when the car parked at our place itself. But on the bright side, these aren't the original ones for the car anyway.

And yes, it indeed is a ridiculously uncanny way of transporting the car like that!! Even I was astounded to see the pics.!
Also gogi, from your pic. showing the left side, I can see that the side-patti on the LH front door, which had been intact when I'd last seen the car, had been plucked off too! Was this kept inside the car or missing too?

Attachment 297677

But all in all, I feel at the end of the day it was indeed worth it! And I'm sure this car will be restored to the gem it once was!
Do keep us updated on the current state of the car, gogs!

Last edited by Stanher : 1st March 2010 at 16:23.
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Old 1st March 2010, 18:13   #8
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How did they manage to get it on top of the truck in the first place ?
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Old 1st March 2010, 19:01   #9
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Well Gogi ji Congratulations and it was a long long wait to see your Millicento. Going by the time line almost every thing would have been done by now and also you would have got most of the parts. If not then there's hope as some one was having a all original, huge tax due parts car .
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Old 1st March 2010, 20:44   #10
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@ Wasif : Exactly my thoughts

@ V-16 : Congratulations on the acquisition!! I'd read something about the "Dukkar Twins" posted by you on "the mole"'s restoration thread, I suppose. So, when do we get to see the other twin?
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Old 1st March 2010, 21:21   #11
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Vow! That's the Top Thread of 2010 perhaps! An entertaining, partial thriller with lots and lots of information by Gogi and Shyam.
I am sure the Dukkar will be restored to its original glory as it is back at Mumbai after some 55 years perhaps! And Mumbai is the best place for the old goody spares of the Dukkar and countless other cars.
If the Dukkar was in Govt Service it could have even claimed High Altitude Travelling Allowance!
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Old 1st March 2010, 21:23   #12
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Congrats Gogi bhai. Been some time since we spoke. Will look forward to this restoration.
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Old 1st March 2010, 21:41   #13
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Congrats Gogi bhai....

I am sure this one will be one of the best car.

All the best
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Old 1st March 2010, 22:01   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
I am sure the Dukkar will be restored to its original glory as it is back at Mumbai after some 55 years perhaps! And Mumbai is the best place for the old goody spares of the Dukkar and countless other cars.
Incidentally, it would be interesting to know how these cars were sent to the respective showrooms in different states all over India. I understand (as mentioned by karl once) that until 1957, they had arrived directly to Bombay fully assembled, by steamer. So were they then sent to the different dealerships from b'bay?
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Old 1st March 2010, 22:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanher View Post
Incidentally, it would be interesting to know how these cars were sent to the respective showrooms in different states all over India. I understand (as mentioned by karl once) that until 1957, they had arrived directly to Bombay fully assembled, by steamer. So were they then sent to the different dealerships from b'bay?
Shyam not really aware about the Dukkar in particular, but these used to be earlier driven by company employed drivers to the dealerships from Mumbai to various parts of India.Mr Behram may be able to enlighten us here.
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